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Sports

Budding fishermen sought for youth camps

Bob Frye
| Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010

It's mid-December. The new year is still two weeks away. Valentine's Day is in two months, and opening day of trout season is far beyond that.

But it's not too early to be thinking about fly fishing.

In fact, two local sportsmen's groups are actively looking for young anglers. Tri-County Trout Club is seeking teens interested in attending - at the club's cost -- Trout Unlimited's 2011 rivers conservation and fly fishing youth camp, while the Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited is looking for boys and girls to be a part of its annual youth conservation and fly fishing program.

The youth camp is held the third full week in June at Allenberry Resort Inn in Boiling Springs, on the banks of the famous Yellow Breeches Creek. Students who attend do classroom work on various conservation topics, do a stream improvement project and spend time fly fishing at the side of instructors.

It's not inexpensive; cost to attend is $275. And not everyone who wants to go can. Only 32 students are taken each year, with the selection made on the basis of applications and an essay.

But Tri-County Trout Club, which holds its meetings in Burrell, has sponsored several students before and is looking to do so again.

"(The club) has had good success in getting applicants accepted," club spokesman Steve Hegedus said.

Any teen interested in going, or any adult with information on a potential candidate, can contact Hegedus at 724-335-2679 or pabrookie@gmail.com.

The Forbes Trail Chapter's youth program, meanwhile, is entering its seventh year. It's open to boys and girls ages 12 to 16 and offers beginners the chance to learn to fly fish; those with some experience the chance to enhance their skills; and, for everyone, the chance to tie flies, learn about conservation and make a trip to Erie to fish for steelhead.

The program was named the state's best youth program in 2007.

"We are fortunate to have a dedicated corps of volunteers that give these students hands-on instruction and help prepare them to be good stewards of conservation and natural resources as they develop," spokesman Drew Banas said.

Students will meet monthly from Jan. 27 through November. For the first several months, meetings will be held at the Loyalhanna Watershed office in Ligonier, where experts will address stream ecology, trout behavior, casting, fishing techniques and knot tying. Students will learn to tie a new fly each month, too.

Later, there will be field trips to local streams to fish, do stream improvement projects and collect and analyze aquatic insects.

Cost is $20, which includes a Trout Unlimited membership and the use of fly fishing gear for the duration of the program.

Contact Banas at 724-238-7560 days or 724-238-3290 evenings, or visit www.forbestrailtu.org for information. Enrollment is limited to the first 20 individuals.

Additional Information:

Fly-tying classes

Children and adults can also take part in fly tying classes being offered this winter by the Ken Sink Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Classes include:

• A seven-week 'fly tying for beginners' class for those 12 and older and designed to teach basic skills will be held at 10 a.m. Saturdays beginning Jan. 8. Cost is $25 for those 16 and older, free to those ages 12 to 15.

• A six-week 'intermediate fly tying' class for those ages 13 and older who would like to advance their skills and tie more complicated flies will be held at 10 a.m. Saturdays starting Jan. 15. Cost is $25 for those ages 16 and older, free to those 13 to 15.

• A three-week 'fly tying for kids' class for those ages 6 to 11 will be held at 10 a.m. Saturdays starting March 3. Students will learn several easy and practical fly patterns and ways of fishing with them. All tools and materials will be provided. The class will be limited to 15 students, all of whom must be accompanied by a parent.

All classes will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church, at 398 Church St. in Indiana. Registration us due by Jan. 4 and can be completed at Indiana Angler, located at 218 Grandview Ave. in Indiana. Call Indiana Angler at 724-463-2011 or Ken Sink TU at 814-691-2220.

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